a Man


Is Dating Culture Creating Murderers?

In the Pittsburg, PA suburb of Bridgeville; a man, frustrated by his own lack of dating and relationship success decided to take his frustration out on an all-female dance-aerobics class.

“Women just don’t like me”, he wrote in a chilling on-line diary posting. To say that the gunman had a lot of hatred built up inside of him is an understatement. The interesting part of this however, is that I see this same frustration every single day from both the men and women that write to me.

Within moments of walking into that class, 3 women and the gunman lay dead and 9 others sustained injury.

What is it about our current dating culture that breeds this level of anger, frustration and hatred? Why does a man whom you’d otherwise never guess had any problems with women go on a rampage and murder the very people of his desire?

I didn’t have to think very long on this to find the answer. We have an entire dating culture that is breeding this very reaction.

I get to see this from the inside because of the more than 30,000 letters I’ve answered from my readers and viewers in just the past few years. The shift I see happening is both amazing and terrifying. I’m seeing an entire generation of men that are more confused and lacking in basic relationship skills in just the past 5 years than in any of the years before them.

That’s not to say however that men are the only ones frustrated! In fact, I hear constant laments from lonely, frustrated women every day too:

“Why can’t I meet any good men?”

“All the good men are either gay or taken.”

“Men don’t seem to know how to be men any longer.”

And, worst of all – they’re right.

There was a time when men had real roll models and examples of how to be men. They knew their place in relationships and specifically, their roll with women. It’s getting rarer to find these men today and how can anyone be surprised? If you look at just about any segment of popular culture, the examples of strong masculine figures are just as rare.

This isn’t to blame media exclusively for this however. We consumers are helping to promote this. We on one hand, discount the value of male influence in society while on the other consume the constant barrage of negative stereotypes. We laugh at Justin Timberlake’s obvious pain of being thrown, crotch-first, into a street poll and grin at the bumbling fool that can’t help his daughter with her homework (while mother looks on with frustrated bemusement). We support every aspect of “women empowerment” and degrade the idea of “male empowerment” as sexist.

When it comes to the dating world, I’m constantly amazed at the same mistaken beliefs and techniques being used by men in order to try to be successful. I stand equally confused by the ineffective games I see women playing in the dating world that simply damage their chances at finding this happiness too.

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this however is that so-called “experts” are actually counseling these women on doing these things or men on “just playing the game”.

We are complicated emotional creatures with equally-complicated mating rituals. In fact, those rituals change from community to community, but in fact there are rules and by following those rules, we can meet with the successes we all hope to achieve.

But, what if we don’t know the rules? What if the rules change and there’s no source to learn them?

This is exactly what happened to the gunman in this story. He spent the last 19 years of his 48-year life living with his own frustration and eventually snapped. The result was 4 dead and 9 injured people – all of whom shared the same desire in their lives to have happy, healthy relationships.

I am seeing a flood of letters from frustrated men and women today (yes, some of them directed toward me) about this very issue. “Why does it have to be this complicated?” “What’s wrong with me?” and “I’m ready to give up” are common themes. These people aren’t bad people at all, they simply lack tools or have been misguided right into their frustrations by well-meaning but equally misguided “help”.

By leveling the playing field; that is, getting dating, sex and relationship information into the hands of both men and women; by reducing the frustration and need for the games, giving people new, more healthy and successful opportunities to reach their own dating and relationship goals and by empowering people to seek out this knowledge – and find it, we might help to prevent this very event from reoccurring and save the life of your own girlfriend, boyfriend, child, parent, sibling or spouse.

Best regards…

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© 2009, Dr. Dennis W. Neder

Other Relationship Issues, Books

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Relationship is a pervading and changing mystery...brutal or lovely, the mystery waits for people wherever they go, whatever extreme they run to. - Euroda Welty

Dr. Dennis W. Neder is the author of Being a Man in a Woman's World I and Being a Man in a Woman's World II. Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? You can write to him by going to: for answers. Check out the discussion group at: . Stay tuned for our new Internet TV Show - BAM TV - starting soon!

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